Joan Baez Among This Year’s Recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors

Joan Baez is set to receive a special honor in Our Nation’s Capital.

The 80-year-old half-Mexican American contemporary folk singer has been selected to receive the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors alongside Garth Brooks, violinist Midori, choreographer Debbie Allen and the ageless Dick Van Dyke.

Joan Baez

“It has been my life’s joy to make art,” said Baez in a statement. It’s also been my life’s joy to make, as the late Congressman John Lewis called it, ‘good trouble.’ What luck to have been born with the ability to do both; each one giving strength and credibility to the other.”

Traditionally held in December, the 2020 edition of the Kennedy Center Honors was postponed to May 2021 due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Live events and filming are planned for the week of May 17-22. The Honors Gala will be recorded for broadcast on CBS as a two-hour primetime special that will air on June 6 at 9:00 pm ET/PT.

But the pandemic will have an impact on how the event is staged, with live-filmed tributes and virtual moments to take the place of the traditional event in a packed Kennedy Center Opera House.

“The center’s entire campus will come alive with small, in-person events and re-envisioned virtual tributes. Featuring multiple events for physically-distant audiences in locations across the Kennedy Center’s campus…Programs for each event will encompass both performances and speaking tributes for the honorees,” according to a statement. “Virtual events will also be held throughout the week beginning May 17, and the viability of additional in-person events will be considered as COVID-19 safety protocols evolve over the upcoming months…An honoree medallion ceremony for the honorees and a limited audience will be hosted by the Kennedy Center during [the week of] May 17–22.”

Joan Baez

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to attend the Honors Gala, as presidents traditionally have done (barring a national crisis). Donald Trump was the first president to decline the invitation every year of his term.

This is the first time in five years that a majority of the honorees have been women. Carole King, Rita Moreno and Cicely Tyson were three of the five honorees in 2015.

“The Kennedy Center Honors serves as a moment to celebrate the remarkable artists who have spent their lives elevating the cultural history of our nation and world,” said David M. Rubenstein, Kennedy Center Chairman.

Here’s a look at each of this year’s honorees:

Joan Baez: The folk legend had three top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 in the 1960s, including Farewell, Angelina. Her classic version of Robbie Robertson’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971. Baez was just 21 when she made the cover of Time in November 1962. Baez has one of the longest spans of Grammy nominations in history, from 1962 to 2018. She has yet to win a Grammy in competition (despite nine nods), but she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in 2007.

Garth Brooks: The country star, 58, is one of the best-selling recording artists in history. The RIAA lists him second only to The Beatles, with 157 million albums sold in the U.S. (compared to 183 million for the Fab Four). He has had nine No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200, including Ropin’ the Wind, which topped the chart for 18 weeks, still the record for a country album. Brooks has amassed 14 CMA Awards, including a record seven awards for entertainer of the year. He was artist of the decade for the 1990s at the ACM Awards. He has won two Grammys. He received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song last year. He made the cover of Time in 1992 in a story headlined “Country’s Big Boom.”

Midori: The Japanese-born American violinist, 49, was just 19 when she received her first (and to date only) Grammy nomination for best classical performance, instrumental soloist (without orchestra) for the album Paganini: 24 Caprices For Solo Violin Op. 1. She made her debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 11 as a surprise guest soloist at the New Year’s Eve Gala in 1982. 

Dick Van Dyke: The actor, 95, won three Emmys for The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66), which is widely regarded as the granddaddy of smart, sophisticated sitcoms. He also won an Emmy in 1977 for Van Dyke & Company, which took outstanding variety or music series. He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1995. He won a Tony in 1961 for Bye, Bye Birdie (in which he introduced the jaunty “Put on a Happy Face”) and a Grammy for 1964’s Mary Poppins (in which he took the lead in singing the Oscar-winning “Chim Chim Cher-ee”).

Debbie Allen: The actress, dancer, choreographer, singer-songwriter, director and producer, 70, has won three Emmys for choreography: two for Fame and one for Motown 30: What’s Goin’ On. She also received two Tony nods for acting in revivals of West Side Story (1980) and Sweet Charity (1986). She is a former member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

Selena to Receive the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award

There’s no denying Selena’s life, cut too short, has left a lasting impression on the world. And, now the music industry’s learned academy is celebrating her impact.

The late Mexican-American singer, known as la Reina de la Musica Tejana, is among the six artists selected by the Recording Academy to receive 2021 Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Selena Quintanilla

Selena, who was shot and killed on March 31, 1995, 16 days before her 24th birthday, by her friend and the former manager of her Selena Etc. boutiques, received two Grammy nominations in 1993-94. She won the 1993 award for best Mexican American album for Live, marking the first time a female Tejano artist had won in the category.

Selena ranks among the most influential Latin artists of all time and is credited for catapulting a music genre into the mainstream market. She has sold around 30 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling female artists in Latin music.

This year’s other lifetime achievement award recipients include Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Salt-N-Pepa, Talking Heads, Marilyn Horne and Lionel Hampton.

The honorees will be recognized on the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on January 31, and at greater length subsequently. For the last five years, the Special Merit Awards honorees were saluted on a PBS special, Grammy Salute to Music Legends.

“As we welcome the new class of Special Merit Award honorees, it gives us a chance to reward and recognize the influence they’ve had in the music community regardless of genre,” Harvey Mason Jr., chair and interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement.

Here’s a detailed look at this year’s honorees:

Lifetime Achievement Awards:

Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five: The group was formed in the South Bronx in 1978. The group, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, consisted of Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, The Kidd Creole, Keef Cowboy, Mr. Ness/Scorpio and Rahiem. The group was praised for its use of turntablism, break-beat deejaying, choreographed stage routines, and lyricism. The group’s 1982 classic “The Message” was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2012.

Lionel Hampton: The jazz musician started his career as a drummer in Chicago in the 1920s before he played the vibraphone with Louis Armstrong. In the 1930s, he broke barriers with the Benny Goodman Quartet, one of America’s first integrated jazz bands. In the 1940s, he formed his own Lionel Hampton Orchestra, which became one of the longest running orchestras in jazz history. Hampton received five Grammy nominations between 1984 and 1991, but he never won. He received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1992. Hampton and his Orchestra’s 1942 classic “Flying Home” was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1996.  Hampton died in 2002 at age 94.

Marilyn Horne: The opera star, 86, received four Grammys, including the 1964 award for most promising new classical recording artist. (She has now officially fulfilled that promise!) Horne received 15 Grammy nominations between 1964 and 1993. She received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1995.

Salt-N-Pepa: The trio, consisting of Salt (Cheryl James), Pepa (Sandra Denton) and DJ Spinderella (Deidra Roper), was one of the first all-female rap ensembles. Formed in Queens, New York, in 1985, the group crafted hits such as “Push It,” “Shoop” and “Whatta Man.” The group received five Grammy nominations between 1988 and 1996. It won the 1994 award for best rap performance by a duo or group for “None Of Your Business.”

Selena: The Tejano queen received two Grammy nominations in 1993-94. She won the 1993 award for best Mexican American album for Live, marking the first time a female Tejano artist had won in the category. Selena was just 23 when she was shot to death in 1995.

Talking Heads: The group, formed in 1975 in New York City, helped to pioneer new wave by blending elements of punk, rock, art pop, funk, and world music with an avant-garde aesthetic. The group received two Grammy nominations (in 1983 and 88), but never won. Group member David Byrne went on to win a Grammy and an Oscar on his own for co-scoring The Last Emperor. Byrne also made the cover of TIME in October 1986 in a story titled “Rock’s Renaissance Man.” The other group members were Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison. In 2002, 11 years after the group disbanded, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Yuri Among the Latin Recording Academy’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees

Yuri‘s achievements will be celebrated in November…

The Latin Recording Academy has revealed the list of artists who will receive the special awards at the 2018 Latin Grammys, with the 54-year-old Mexican singer, actress and TV host among the Lifetime Achievement Award honorees.

Yuri

Presented to performers who have made unprecedented contributions of outstanding artistic significance to Latin music, this year’s lifetime achievement award goes to seven artists with reputable music careers: Yuri, Erasmo CarlosDyangoAndy Montañez, José María NapoleónChucho Valdés, and Wilfrido Vargas.

Record label executives Horacio Malvicino from Argentina and Tomás Muñozfrom Spain will receive the Trustees Award, which is voted on by The Latin Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees and merited to individuals who have made significant contributions, other than in performance, to music during their careers.

“Our 2018 class has made outstanding contributions benefiting Ibero-American music, providing innovation, and a unique vision in favor of all music lovers,” said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., Latin Recording Academy president/CEO in a press statement.

The honorees will be celebrated during a private ceremony on Nov. 13 in Las Vegas. The 19th Annual Latin Grammys will be broadcast live from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas via Univision.

Here are the lifetime achievement award honorees below.

Yuri
The Mexican singer and actress gained fame across Latin America in the ‘80s. Throughout Yuri’s successful music career, she has sung heartfelt songs in many genres including Latin pop, tropical, rancheras, and Christian.

Erasmo Carlos
Erasmo is a Brazilian singer-songwriter, who besides his remarkable solo career in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s is also known for collaborating with Roberto Carlos.

Dyango
Born Jose Gomez Romero, Dyango is a Spanish musician and singer known as “The Voice of Love” for his romantic ballads released in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Andy Montañez
Andy Montañez kicked off his solo career in the ‘80s after gaining international success as part of El Gran Combo. Known as “El Godfather de la Salsa,” the Puerto Rican singer is one of the most soulful and creative vocalists in the Afro-Caribbean genre.

José María Napoleón
Known as “El Poeta de la Cancion,” the Mexican singer-songwriter is a gem from the influential romantic ballad movement in the ‘70s. In additional to his solo career, he’s composed songs for Vicente Fernandez, Jose Jose, Pepe Aguilar, and more.

Chucho Valdés
As a Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer, and arranger, Chucho Valdes’ music career spans more than five decades. In the ’70s he founded the group Irakere, which became known as one of the best-known Latin Jazz bands in Cuba.

Wilfrido Vargas
Dominican singer Wilfrido Vargas kicked off his music career in the ‘70s and has since blessed us with timeless merengue songs such as “El Africano,” “El Jardinero,” and “El Baile del Perrito.”

Linda Ronstadt to Receive Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Linda Ronstadt is about to shine a little brighter…

The class of 2019 Hollywood Walk of Fame honorees have been announced, with the71-year-old half-Mexican American singer making the list.

Linda Ronstadt 

Recipients are recognized in the recording, television, film and live theater/live performance categories, and Ronstadt is certainly a living legend.

Ronstadt, an 11-time Grammy winner, was awarded the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by The Latin Recording Academy in 2011 and also awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by The Recording Academy in 2016. Additionally, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was awarded the National Medal of Arts and Humanities in 2014.

She will receive a joint star with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. The three singers joined voiceson the albumTrio, which was released in 1987. It sold over 4 million copies worldwide and also received several awards, including two Grammy Awards.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame receives hundreds of submissions each year for a personal star on Hollywood Boulevard. The groundbreaking only comes to fruition for very few, as it is estimated that the construction and ceremony production costs exceed $30,000.

The dates for the star ceremonies have yet to be announced.

John Leguizamo to Present at Sunday’s Tony Awards Ceremony

John Leguizamo is ready to (re)present…

The 53-year-old Colombian actor and stand-up comedian will serve as a presenter at this Sunday’s Tony Awards ceremony.

John Leguizamo

Leguizamo, who previously earned two Tony Award nods, is nominated this year for Best Play for his one-man show Latin History for Morons.

Leguizamo joins a list of presenters that includes Christine Baranski, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jeff DanielsRobert De Niro, Brandon Victor DixonTina Fey, Billy Joel, Patti LuPone and Kerry Washington.

Tony Award Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Andrew Lloyd Webber and Chita Rivera will also take the stage.

The 72nd Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, will air live from Radio City Music Hall on CBS on Sunday at 8:00-11:00 pm ET/delayed PT.

Los Del Río Receive Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Recording Academy

Holy Macarena! Los Del Río are getting some love more than 20 years after gaining international acclaim…

This week, the Spanish Latin pop and dance duo behind the smash-hit dance single “Macarena” received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Recording Academy.

Los Del Rio

Los Del Rio, comprised of Antonio Romero Monge and Rafael Ruíz Perdigones, joined a list of honorees that includes Lucecita BenítezJoão BoscoIlan Chester, Víctor HerediaGuadalupe Pineda and Cuco Valoy..

The Lifetime Achievement award is presented to performers who have made unprecedented contributions of outstanding artistic significance to Latin music and the Latin community.

Los Del Rio, who saw “Macarena” reach No. 1 in 15 countries, including the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S., accepted their award with a lot of emotion, saying it was the first time they’ve received this kind of recognition in their 53-year music career.

Benitez accepted the honor given by her friend, Puerto Rican singer Olga Tañon. The 75-year-old Puerto Rican singer dedicated her recognition to her native island, emphasizing that she would never leave Puerto Rico even now that people needs help.

Pineda was presented her award from Pepe Aguilar. The 62-year-old Mexican singer had a political tone in her speech saying: “Music is a universal language. Music not only builds bridges but also breaks down walls. And, the walls fall.”

Meanwhile, Jon Fausty and Lalo Schifrin received the Trustees Award, which is given to individuals who have made significant contributions, other than performance, to Latin music during their careers. All the honorees are chosen by vote by the members of The Latin Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees.

The 18th annual Latin Grammy Awards will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on November 16, from 8:00 – 11:00 pm ET/PT on Univision.

Tommy Torres to Host This Year’s Latin Grammy Premiere Ceremony

Tommy Torres will be put on his hosting hat…

The 45-year-old Puerto Rican singer-songwriter and producer, a three-time Latin Grammy-winner, will host this year’s Latin Grammy Premiere ceremony, during which approximately 85 percent of the categories will be awarded, according to the Recording Academy.

Tommy Torres

The “biggest night in Latin music” will kick off with performances by nominees Tiago IorcLas Migas, Debi Nova and Sig Ragga.

Additionally, the first Latin Grammy awards of the day will be presented by nominees Paula Arenas, Eduardo Cabra, Cesar Camargo Mariano and Miranda, and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Guadalupe Pineda.

The Latin Grammy Premiere 2017 will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas on Thursday (Nov. 16); live streaming will begin at 4 p.m. EST on LatinGrammy.com and Univision.com/LatinGrammy.

The premiere ceremony will be followed by the 18th Annual Latin Grammy Awards, live on Univision from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas from 8:00 – 11:00 pm EST.

Viewers can watch the Latin Grammys 2017 red carpet — “Night of the Stars” — beginning at 7:00 pm EST, featuring live interviews and commentary on the stars and their glamorous attires.

Music Box Films Acquires Distribution Rights for the Chavela Vargas Documentary “Chavela”

The life of Chavela Vargas will be hitting the big screen later this year…

Music Box Films has secured distribution rights to Chavela, the documentary on the late Costa Rican-born Mexican singer-songwriter, who was known as “la voz áspera de la ternura,” the rough voice of tenderness.

Chavela Vargas

Directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi, the documentary features interviews and performance footage from the late singer, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 93. According her official Facebook page, her last words were “I leave with Mexico in my heart.”

Music Box, who has rights in all platforms in the U.S., will release the film theatrically in October.

Chavela Vargas

The documentary premiered to critical acclaim at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.

Vargas, the muse to Oscar winning filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Recording Academy at the Latin Grammys in 2007.

Arjona to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at the Billboard Latin Music Awards

It’s an extra special recognition for Ricardo Arjona

The 53-year-old Guatemalan singer-songwriter and chart-topping artist  will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards on April 27.

Ricardo Arjona

Arjona will receive the special accolade to honor his outstanding career that spans over 30 years and includes 16 studio albums, 36 hits on Billboard‘s Hot Latin Songs, five No. 1’s and 20 entries on the Top Latin Albums chart. Past Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include Marco Antonio Solís and Roberto Carlos.

Arjona will also perform for the first time ever at the Billboard Latin Music Awards joining a star-studded lineup with acts such as Luis Fonsi, J Balvin and Nicky Jam.

Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, from the Netflix series Ingobernable, and Puerto Rican actor and singer Carlos Ponce will host the awards ceremony. Presenters throughout the night include artists like ChocQuibTown, Sofía ReyesOlga TañónSin BanderaJuan Luis Guerra and Ednita Nazario.

The Billboard Latin Music Awards, which will air live on Telemundo from The Watsco Center at the University of Miami, are the culmination of the Billboard Latin Music Conference, taking place April 24-27 at the Ritz Carlton Miami Beach.

To register, visit BillboardLatinConference.com.

Los Lobos to Receive BMI Icon Award

The members of Los Lobos are reuniting for a special honor…

The multiple Grammy-winning rock band from East Los Angeles, best known for their hit version of “La Bamba,” will receive the BMI Icon Award during the organization’s 24th annual Latin Awards.

Los Lobos

The event, to be hosted by BMI president & CEO Mike O’Neill and Delia Orjuela, BMI VP of Latin Writer/Publisher Relations, will be held March 21 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Formed in 1973 by David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, Louie Perez and Conrad Lozano — fellow students at Garfield High School in East L.A. — Los Lobos (the group also includes Steve Berlin and Enrique Gonzalez), have been doing Latin music long before Latin music was cool, blending rock ‘n roll with Chicano roots.

The group, bilingual and bicultural before the concept became a buzzword, rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987 with their cover of Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba,” the same year they won a Grammy in the-then newly instated category of Best Mexican American Performance for the song “Anselma.”

Los Lobos’ exploration of the musical landscape has continued unabated, spanning Latin, folk, rock and even R&B. They’ve collected three Grammy awards along the way, plus Billboard’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

The BMI Icon Award, whose past recipients include Gloria Estefan, Paul Simon, Dolly Parton and Carlos Santana, is presented to songwriters who have had unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.

“Los Lobos have been musical ambassadors to the Mexican-American community,” said BMI’s Orjuela in a statement. “Their music reflects the diversity and musical heritage of America, weaving together blues, rock, norteño, and cumbia.”

During the March 21 ceremony, BMI will also honor the Latin songwriter, song and publisher of the year plus the writers and publishers of BMI’s most-performed songs of the past year.

This will also mark the first time ever that BMI expands its criteria for determining winners; in addition to terrestrial radio performances, data will also include streaming and satellite radio.